May 2020: Special education major wants to ‘be more than a teacher’

May 2020: Special education major wants to ‘be more than a teacher’

Jasia Clark

From: Athens, Georgia

Jasia Clark passing out absentee ballot information for a political awareness event hosted by the Nu Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Jasia Clark passing out absentee ballot information for a political awareness event hosted by the Nu Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Major: Special education. The passion I have for my future career is sometimes hard to put into words. Education wasn’t always my first choice. Originally, I wanted to grow up and pursue a profession in the medical field. It wasn’t until middle school that I truly started to realize the impact of a teacher and just how important they are. I’ve always stated that I want to be more than just a teacher. I want to be an educator. I want to provide students with more than just standards and curriculum but also life lessons that go beyond the classroom. This profession allows me to make a difference. I will be able to fill young minds with information. I will create lifelong learners. I will give students the tools they need to be successful. I will give children the one thing that cannot be taken away from them – knowledge! And knowledge is power!

Why Georgia College: It was, honestly, a last-minute choice. I wanted to attend a school that wasn’t too far from home or too large. I toured Georgia College and decided that exact day– this was my college. 

Activities: During my time at Georgia College, I’ve been involved in a number of clubs and organizations. Freshman year, I completed the Servant Leadership Cohort and participated in Best Buddies. I am also a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, Black Student Alliance, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Additionally, I’ve had the honor of serving the community through different bullying prevention initiatives. I started L.O.V.E (Lending Our Voices Everyday), while in high school. L.O.V.E. is an organization that works to prevent and bring awareness to bullying, while empowering youth to use their voice. The GIVE Center and Baldwin County School District has been so supportive in letting me continue my initiative here in Milledgeville over the past four years. Some of the opportunities included speaking to the district’s leadership and presenting at Oak Hill Middle School and Georgia College Early College.

Best memory: April 22, 2018! On this day, I reintroduced myself to the campus as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Becoming a member of this organization was a dream come true. It was truly a blessing being able to share that joy with the campus, my family, and friends.

They are three professors whose passion for what they teach is contagious. Their courses challenged me and provided new perspectives.
– Jasia Clark
Favorite professor: I’ve been very fortunate to have many great professors. During my first two years, I wanted to take as many courses as possible with Dr. Keith Lee, Dr. Stephanie McClure, and Dr. Paulette Cross. They are three professors whose passion for what they teach is contagious. Their courses challenged me and provided new perspectives. I will forever appreciate them and their willingness to always advocate for what is right and equitable. It doesn’t stop there. Once I entered into the special education cohort, I truly gained an army of great professors. The College of Education has some of the best faculty this college has to offer! Dr. Nicole DeClouette, Dr. Desha Williams, Dr. Sandra Smith, Dr. Stephen Wills, Dr. Roddran Grimes, Mrs. Hiller Crook, and the list continues! They are all individuals who have instilled so much knowledge and have prepared me for my future career. They have encouraged, challenged and pushed me to see my full potential.

How did college change you? College has provided me with many life lessons. I have grown in my ability to balance my time, see and understand the perspective of others, and my willingness embrace change. College has made me stronger, more fearless and brought a lot of phenomenal people into my life.

Jasia Clark giving a presentation on Bullying Prevention at Oak Hill Middle School
Jasia Clark giving a presentation on Bullying Prevention at Oak Hill Middle School
How are you coping with the coronavirus pandemic? Senior year came to an abrupt end. I did not expect to lose the opportunity of saying goodbye to my Georgia College family, and I didn’t know March 13th would be the last day I saw my students in the classroom. In order to cope with this change, I am writing letters to different professors, mentors and the students from my student teaching internship and thanking them for helping me prepare for my profession.

No one said these next four years will be easy, but I promise it’ll be worth it.
– Jasia Clark
Advice for new students: I have three simple suggestions for our incoming bobcats. First, stay true to yourself! Rick Warren once said " Wearing a mask wears you out. Faking is fatiguing. The most exhausting activity is pretending to be what you know you aren’t." I couldn't agree more! There were moments in my college years when I forgot to do the things that I enjoyed, because I was concerned with what others thought. Do not change to impress others but change because it makes you a better person. Secondly, find your passion! It’s okay to enroll in college undeclared or to change your major. You will take classes and meet people who change your perspective, and you’ll gain new values. This is your time to invest in yourself. So, cherish the moments, discover your passion and make a positive impact. Most importantly, never give up! No one said these next four years will be easy, but I promise it’ll be worth it. There will always be challenges and obstacles. But you have to meet those challenges straight on with your head held high and your heart wide open. Stay true to yourself, find your passion, never give up, learn from your mistakes, persevere, be a leader, believe in yourself, inspire others and aim high!

Future plans: I’ve begun interviewing with different schools for a teaching position. I am looking forward to starting my career as an educator and having a classroom of my own. Additionally, I have applied for the College of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction graduate program and will start pursuing my master’s degree.